E3 Lithium and Imperial Oil Strengthen Partnership for Direct Lithium Extraction Pilot Plant

E3 Lithium and Imperial Oil Strengthen Partnership for Direct Lithium Extraction Pilot Plant

E3 Lithium and Imperial Oil have announced an expanded collaboration to advance a pilot plant in Canada’s oil patch, where they are jointly testing direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology. This partnership, initially established in 2022, focuses on the Clearwater project, which aims to extract naturally occurring lithium from oilfield brines.

E3 Lithium, a Calgary-based junior company, has also extended the expiry date of the warrants granted to Imperial Oil, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil. The warrants can now be exercised until July 8, 2025.

“This continued collaboration between E3 Lithium and Imperial is reaffirmed today given our shared vision to establish sustainable lithium production in Canada,” said Chris Doornbos, president and chief executive of E3 Lithium, in a statement.

The update comes amid a shifting attitude among the world’s major oil companies, who traditionally disposed of brine by pumping it back into the ground. The rising demand for lithium, driven by the electric vehicle (EV) industry, along with initiatives by the US and Canada to secure domestic battery metal supplies, has turned this brine into a valuable resource.

Other oil companies are exploring similar initiatives. Occidental Petroleum announced last year that it would investigate extracting lithium from brine through its subsidiary TerraLithium. ExxonMobil is drilling its first lithium well in the Smackover formation in southern Arkansas, with production expected to start in 2027. European oil giants BP and Shell have invested in EV charging stations as part of their energy transition strategies.

National oil companies from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are also reportedly planning to obtain lithium from brine in their oilfields. Additionally, Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), the Gulf’s largest miner, is working to extract lithium from seawater. icon

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